was invented by my ten-year-old daughter Margaret tonight.
The children love to run around and play freeze tag (even in the house), but Margaret was bored by the usual endless periods of standing still or attempting to "unfreeze" team mates. She suggested a new rule to break up the monotony:
To get unfrozen, players must do one small job for Mommy.
I could hardly believe my good fortune when I heard this proposal, particularly because I had just been sitting on the couch surveying a rather disorderly room. Each time a player was caught, I would hear an eager, "What can I do for you, Mommy?" It was no trouble finding small jobs: "Please pick up that puzzle piece, and put it away"; "Please return that book to the shelf"; "Throw that scrap of paper in the garbage, please." They couldn't get enough of these little tasks, requesting two if the job was especially small. Even baby Eileen demanded in emphatic baby talk, "What I do, Mama?"
With five players (ages 10 and under), the room was cleared in minutes, but the game was still in full swing with eight-year old Marie chasing and tagging everyone in sight. No problem--we moved the action to the next room. There is never a shortage of things to be put away around here.
My only regret is that I did not think to take before and after shots of the room! It was a painless transformation worth seeing.